Birth Of The Living Dead (2013)
n 1968 a young college drop-out and aspiring filmmaker named George A. Romero directed Night of the Living Dead, a low-budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and invented the modern movie zombie, which has spawned legions of films, books, comics, and video games, generating billions of dollars. Night of the Living Dead is not only internationally recognized as an art film, revered for its groundbreaking treatment of American race relations and allegorical references to the Vietnam war, the film still maintains its cult status as a classic horror masterpiece. The film made history when it simultaneously screened at MOMA and the notorious grind-house theater circuit on 42nd Street. Since its release Night of the Living Dead has been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry. Rob Kuhns' feature documentary BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD goes beyond just being a tribute to director George Romero's work, to explore a critical moment in the American experience and the notion that horror acts as a reflection of national anxiety. The film details how Romero gathered an unlikely team of real Pittsburgh citizens -- police officers, iron workers, teachers, housewives and a roller-rink owner -- to shoot in a revolutionary guerrilla style that became a cinematic landmark and one of the most visceral and influential horror films ever made.(c) First Run … More
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Critic Reviews for Birth Of The Living Dead
Mr. Romero, manifesting a self-effacing demeanor and sensible humanity, is a most agreeable raconteur.
Kuhns makes time for political insights, provocative montages of race riots cut with the movie's hick militia, and the comments of owlish Romero himself, who recounts the shoot like the enthusiastic 27-year-old he was.
What distinguishes this doc from much of the tedious critical prose Romero has inspired is the fan-boy and fan-girl ardor that fuels its smarts - both behind and in front of the camera.
Rob Kuhns's amusing but perfunctory documentary about the origins of the 1968 ur-text of zombiedom, George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead."
Birth of the Living Dead does not uproot the order of behind-the-scenes documentaries, but the great likelihood that this film will send viewers right back to Romero's original with eyes reopened is a mark of its considerable success.
A reminder that this zombie flick was as much a product of its time as "Easy Rider" or "The Graduate".
Sweet and simple, Birth of the Living Dead is a nostalgic, informative trip back to the origins of the modern zombie, featuring a George A. Romero who is as spry and entertaining as ever.
What works here is enthusiasm, enjoying a wealth of appreciation presented to a worthy production, reinforcing its status as a groundbreaking picture that reverberates to this day.
Ultimately, Birth Of The Living Dead is little more than a glorified DVD featurette, but it's the kind of featurette that most Romero fans probably wouldn't mind watching more than once.
The film is unavoidably slight, but there's a certain pleasure in watching talented people wax passionate about a common source of inspiration.
Sheds light on Dead's own strange parallel journey from grindhouse to born-again arthouse immortal classic. And these voracious monsters embodying collective social anxieties in reality, and related back biting, dog-eat-dog capitalism's creepy context.
You don't need to be a fan of zombie movies to appreciate this documentary.
The Birth of the modern zombie film wasn't scary. It was downright hilarious, according to this smart new doc.
The movie appreciates that 'Night of the Living Dead' is the Bo Diddley beat of horror -- the iteration that launched a million copycats.
At 73, Romero himself is still a hoot, making me think a full documentary on the man and his career is long overdue.
Audience Reviews for Birth Of The Living Dead
Must see documentary about the making of the iconic zombie classic, Night of the Living Dead. The film examines how the film was made, and how it became famous. Featuring interviews with those involved in the making of the film. As a fan of the classic film, I can say that I would recommend seeing this documentary if you want to know more about how this legendary horror film. I found that the interviews were very well done, and in depth, the only weak point of the film is that it's a bit too short. I think that the filmmakers should have interviewed fans of the film, and should have focused on its legacy a bit more, which of course they did talk about it, but they focused so little that it didn't seem too important. Nonetheless aside from that, it's great to see how Romero's classic spawned a new type of genre in the horror game. Fans should definitely watch this film, and it's one of the best documentaries in the horror genre. Aside from a few weak moments, in terms of its subject, this is really entertaining from start to finish, and it joins the ranks of other documentaries, like Never Sleep Again, His Name Was Jason, Crystal Lake Memories and Not Quite Hollywood that are quite entertaining and worth seeing for genre fans. Night of the Living Dead spawned the era of the modern zombie movie, and pushed the boundaries of terror into new and exciting territory. Informative, thrilling and exciting, despite a few shortcomings, Birth of the Living Dead is a very well crafted documentary that shouldn't be passed up if you enjoy George A. Romero's work.More
The backstory behind the creation and popularity of George A. Romero's groundbreaking cult hit Night of the Living Dead is explored in the documentary Birth of the Living Dead. The film looks at Romero's early career in commercials and at how he came up with the idea behind Night of the Living Dead. His guerrilla filmmaking style is also discussed, along with how he marketed the film in order to get it distributed in grindhouse theatres. And, historians and other experts look at the counterculture movement of the late '60s and at how it influenced Romero's work. Additional, the film reviews Night of the Living Dead's cinematic journey, from drive-in theatres to European art houses to the public domain, and how it continually increased in popularity and won over audiences and critics alike. Extraordinarily informative and comprehensive, Birth of the Living Dead is the definitive word on Romero's seminal zombie classic.More
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